Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brown v. City of Phoenix

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 13, 1948

BROWN et al.
v.
CITY OF PHOENIX

Appeal from Superior Court, Maricopa County; James A. Walsh, Judge.

Judgment affirmed.

E. G. Frazier and Charlie W. Clark, both of Phoenix, for appellants.

Jack Choisser, City Atty. and Howard W. Gibbons, Asst. City Atty., both of Phoenix, for appellee.

Udall, Justice. Stanford, C. J., and La Prade, J., concur.

OPINION

Udall, Justice.

[68 Ariz. 100] This is an appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court of Maricopa County denying appellants (plaintiffs) a recovery (except for a refund of a small tax levied for library purposes) of a substantial sum in taxes paid by them under protest to the City of Phoenix, appellee (defendant).

Of the two assignments of error presented probably the second should first be considered for if it is well taken the appellants were clearly entitled to judgment. Briefly this assignment raises once again the question as to the right of the City of Phoenix, a home rule city, to maintain its own assessor and make its own assessment rolls on its own valuations. The appellants contend that section 73-601, A.C.A.1939 (which both by its language and title clearly indicates that the adoption of its provisions is optional with charter cities), makes it mandatory that appellee adopt for taxation purposes the valuation fixed by Maricopa County's taxing officials. Such contention was rejected by a unanimous court in an able opinion written by the late Chief Justice Ross, in the case of Trigg v. City of Yuma, 59 Ariz. 480, 130 P.2d 59. We have examined the briefs filed in that case and find that the identical arguments now presented were there fully argued and considered. It would seem that the law should now be considered by the bar as well-settled on this point, for twice since that decision was handed down this court has had occasion to put its stamp of approval upon same. See City of Phoenix v. Elias, 64 Ariz. 95, 166 P.2d 589, opinion written by Chief Justice Stanford, [68 Ariz. 101] and City of Phoenix v. Wayland, 64 Ariz. 222, 167 P.2d 933, opinion written by Justice LaPrade. We again adhere to the pronouncement upon this point set forth in the Trigg case.

Appellants are resident property owners and taxpayers of the City of Phoenix, and the principal controversy arises over the question whether or not an excessive and therefore illegal budget was adopted by the City for the fiscal year 1943-1944. The

Page 721

facts are not in dispute and the only question presented concerns an interpretation of the governing statutory provisions.

The City's total expenditures for the fiscal year 1942-1943, exclusive of expenditures proposed for school, bond, special assessment and district levy purposes, were $ 2,794,254, consisting of the following:

Item 1

Total amount of budget adopted

for the fiscal year 1942-43,

$ 2,203,862.00

Item 2

Surplus revenues expended be-

tween July 1, 1942 and March 12,

1943, the date when Chapter 38

of the 1943 Session Laws with

the emergency clause became

effective,

281,482.43

Item 3

Amount of expenditures made

between March 12th and June

30th, 1943, pursuant to author-

ity of the Arizona State Tax

Commission as emergency grant

issued after March 12, 1943 and

prior to June 30, 1943,

308,910.10

Total

$ 2,794,254.53

The City in adopting its budget for the fiscal year 1943-1944 used this figure last stated as the base upon which to apply the ten per cent budget limitation. It is the contention of the appellants that the City should have applied the budget limitation on the basis of the total of items 1 and 2, supra. This amount of $ 2,485,344.43, plus ten per cent thereof ($ 248,534.44), makes a grand total of $ 2,733,878.87, and according to their view, this is the maximum sum the City might include within the 1943-1944 budget. The City budget actually adopted for this period, however, totaled $ 3,055,295. The difference between these two totals ($ 321,416.13) constitutes the claimed excessive levy which is the basis for this suit. It will thus be seen ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.